Last year while my wife was severely ill and in the hospital, CAMCO as they call themselves, contacted me and wanted to collect an old CitiBank credit card debt that I had actually paid off in 1986.
When I contacted them they told me that they could sue me, take my car, maybe even my house, and possibly put me in prison if I didn't pay them.
I laughed at them and told that that the debt was paid, and, that even if it had not been paid, the statute of limitations had long passed.
The woman on the other end of the line called me a deadbeat, an evil man, and that I could see them in court some day soon.
Afterwards they called me repeatedly, putting me on the phone with their "comptroller", another woman, who claimed that I owed a moral obligation to pay all of my debts.
After telling her that the debt was time-barred by the statute of limitations, she admitted that if they sued me they probably would not win but that they could demand the debt from me anyway, and would "find away around the statute of limitations." She reminded me of how expensive lawyers can get and it would be cheaper to settle.
It just so happens, however, that I did go to law school, and I graduated.
After a number of additional threats and annoying phone calls, I went to a friend of mine, a lawyer, and had him send a demand letter to cease and decist and provide proof of the debt and that Citibank had assigned it to them.
The best CAMCO could come up with was an affidavit from their comptroller claiming that CAMCO assigned the Citibank debt to itself, and that it is the true and lawful owner of the claim.
Earlier last year the FTC sued CAMCO alleging among other things that CAMCO obtains lists of time-barred debts from credit card issuers as a debt collector. It then supposedly used those lists to "purchase" the debts for a fraction of a cent on the dollar.
However, no creditor can assign a debt that no longer exists.
That was the case for most debts.
Long story short: CAMCO is in a receivership. Go to the FTC website and check it out.
For all of you out there that got harassed and ripped off by these scum-sucking pigs, there IS some justice.
CAMCO's owners can't use their own company. They aren't earning any money and I am certain THEY will have creditors banging on THEIR doors. Poetic justice isn't it?
Good night all... sleep a little easier...
Fort Lauderdale, Florida